What Are the Features of High-Quality Mosaic Tiles?

Features of High-Quality Mosaic Tiles
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: September 19, 2021
  • Updated On: July 5, 2023

Tiles, particularly mosaic tiles, have always been coveted home design features. Considering their many available designs, there is no doubt that they are an attractive choice for your kitchen backsplash or bathroom floor. However, the fact of the matter is that mosaic tiles are more than just another flooring option.

Their long-standing status and popularity are testament to their value, and if chosen well, they can add character to your space for the rest of the property’s lifetime. However, to make use of their full potential, it is paramount that you only buy the highest quality tiles.

It might be difficult to tell at first glance which mosaic tiles fulfill this criterion; indeed, many things need to be taken into account when determining their quality and, just as importantly, their suitability for your purposes. If you intend to elevate your space with mosaic tiles in the near future, here’s how to pick high-quality ones.

What you should know about mosaic tiles

The history of mosaic tiles goes back to ancient times. Initially made out of materials like stone, shells, and the like, mosaics were mostly used in the arts in the beginning. As tiles became more widespread and even more importantly, more widely manufactured, it wasn’t long before mosaic tiles took over the art scene in the Roman Empire.

However, it’s not only the Mediterranean where you can find notable mosaic works that date back centuries. From the Middle East to North Africa, geometric mosaic tiles represent an important element in the cultural and religious heritage of Islamic nations, too.

Whether you prefer the atmosphere of the mosaic-tiled subway stations of Lisbon or you’d rather bring the opulence of Middle-Eastern mosques into your home, mosaic tiles are definitely a fantastic choice. As opposed to what some people may think, they can find their place in any part of the home, not just moisture-prone areas.

However, much care should be placed into picking out the right mosaic tiles for your home, taking not only your personal preference but also their material and intended use into account.

There is really no one good answer to the question of which mosaic tiles are the best. However, you can certainly find the best for you if you keep a few factors in mind. Read on to learn what the features to keep an eye out for are.

Tile hardness

Tiles are generally some of the most resistant flooring as well as wall covering options for the home. That means that if done well, you will most likely not need to redo them for decades, possibly for the rest of your life.

With such a promise of longevity, ensuring that you do, indeed, do it well is in your best interest. That means choosing tiles that will not chip or crack even with years of wear and tear.

Mosaic tiles may be more commonly seen on walls, but that does not mean you cannot adorn your floors with them as well. In both cases, but especially the latter, the hardness of the tiles is quite an important factor to take into account.

The hardness of the tiles will greatly determine their longevity. Needless to say, different materials have different hardness ratings. If you can, check the tile’s rating on the Mohs hardness scale to get a good idea of its durability.

The rating goes from 1-10: the higher the number, the less likely your tile will be to crack. Even though mosaic tiles are small, they are still exposed, especially materials like glass, so don’t skip this part.

It should be noted that soft tiles are not necessarily “low-quality.” They are simply unsuitable for high-traffic, high-wear spaces. They can still be perfect for your walls, for instance.


Another feature that is more of a question of intended use than strictly quality is the porosity of the tiles. Usually, certain types of stone tiles, especially untreated ones, are on the porous side, though some stones are more porous than others. Terracotta is another example.

What porousness means for your mosaic tiles is that they will absorb water, and with water, they can also absorb stains. The type of tiles you should go for will depend on the room in question; for this reason, porous tiles may not be especially suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

However, they are still often coveted for their natural textures and elegant look. Porous surfaces are also slip-resistant so some spaces can greatly benefit from this property. Therefore, whether porosity will add to the appeal of certain tiles or take away from it is entirely up to your needs.

Slip resistance

If you are to use mosaic tiles for your floors, then slip resistance becomes a major factor in your decision-making process, too. As we just mentioned, porous materials are naturally more slip-resistant. However, besides the material itself, the particular finish of a tile has also contributed to its COF score (which determines its slip resistance).

Look for a score of at least.5 if you want to ensure that your floors will not be too slippery. Naturally, this property is not as relevant if you’re only to cover your walls. Feel free to go for the smoothest, shiniest tiles in that case.


 Features of High-Quality Mosaic Tiles

When you want to ensure quality, the material of your mosaic tiles is perhaps the most important thing to factor into your project. As we already mentioned, the different materials will have naturally different levels of hardness and porosity, however, that is far from everything.

Mosaic tiles are made from a wide range of materials and for a good reason. Each material has its unique qualities, whether it is an inimitable look or superior durability. Some of the most popular mosaic tile materials include the following:

  • Glass – Glass mosaic tiles are, without a doubt, some of the most attractive ones out there. While their susceptibility to chipping might make you think that their quality is subpar, in actuality, glass mosaic tiles are superior in humid environments.
  • Porcelain – Porcelain is often the most highly regarded material for tiles since it has outstanding durability. Porcelain tiles are extremely hard thanks to the high temperatures at which they are baked, but they are also completely water- and stain-resistant. Tiles are generally hygiene-friendly but porcelain tiles are even more so as they can freely be cleaned with any cleaning agent without endangering their look. All in all, porcelain tiles are a great overall choice.
  • Stone – Natural stone mosaic tiles come in a wide range of vibrant, natural tones, which makes them one of the most popular options for sophisticated interiors. Different kinds of stone will have different properties; for instance, granite tiles will be harder than onyx tiles. Marble is a popular choice as it’s both attractive and highly resistant.
  • Metal – A lot of people don’t know about their existence but metal mosaic tiles are a unique and certainly eye-catching option for a modern interior. They come in different textures so they can fit into a variety of settings.
  • Mix – Perhaps the most unique option out of all of them would be a mixture of different materials. Mosaic tiles provide the perfect opportunity for mixing and matching different colors, so why shouldn’t you mix and match different materials as well? Adding a touch of glass or metal to a natural stone mix would bring an unexpected flair to the space without compromising the intended purpose.


Besides the material itself, another property that will give some indication about the quality of mosaic tiles is their grade. What you should know right off the bat is that tile grades are by no means universal across different retailers.

Grades are a way the retailer categorizes their tiles according to defects, and this can vary greatly from one place to another. Still, it’s useful to know that tiles usually come in 3 different grades and only the first grade has no visible defects.

In addition to defects, the grade may also include other criteria like the thickness of the tile, so your best bet is to ask your retailer for more detailed information. You can also usually request samples to see the tiles in person and compare them with other retailers’.

Color considerations

Finally, you should ensure the quality of your tiles’ color as well. It can be difficult to envision the tiles in your home when you are browsing the internet. If you buy from reputable sources, matching the color should not be an issue.

However, screens can be deceptive so, at the end of the day, you should go for a sample to make sure that the color is not slightly different than what you expected.

Mosaic tiles are undoubtedly a valuable addition to the home. They are extremely versatile, come in a huge range of materials and designs, and they allow for a lot of creative freedom when designing your space.

But even more importantly, they also bring with them all the benefits of tiles, including durability, ease of maintenance, water resistance, and the like. Make sure you pick high-quality mosaic tiles and you’ll be able to enjoy them for many, many years to come.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.